Jamaican lamb curry

It’s my birthday! My favourite birthday dinner is steak and chips. But it’s been chips overload of late and it’s so rainy and grey I wanted this delicious Jamaican lamb curry instead.

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The first time I had this was at my brother-in-law’s with top quality meat from the Ginger Pig. He adapted it from Levi Roots Goat curry. It is A M A Z I N G and super spicy. This is a cheap dish as it uses lamb neck but it does take ages to cook and has many different stages of prep so we always make it the day before we’re having it (by we I mean Lewis). If you leave out the scotch bonnet and reduce the curry powder it’s ok for kids. Or just give them eggs on toast, put them to bed and eat the proper version mwah ha ha! (That is my ‘eating delicious curry’ face – oooh!).

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Jamaican lamb curry

Prep time: 4 hours including marinating time
Cooking time: 4 hours

  • 1kg lamb neck fillet (on or off the bone) – mutton is nice too
  • ½ a lime
  • 2 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 6 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
  • 425ml vegetable stock
  • 1 onion – roughly chopped
  • 2cm piece of root ginger – finely chopped
  • 1 hot red chilli (ideally Scotch bonnet) – seeds left in, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 10 allspice berries
  • ½ a red pepper – deseeded and cubed
  • ½ a green pepper – deseeded and cubed
  • 2 spring onions – green part only, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper

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Wash the meat and pat it dry with kitchen paper then put it in a large bowl with the lime juice, curry powder and all-purpose seasoning. Leave to marinate for 4 hours in the fridge. Heat a large non-stick casserole or heavy-based saucepan until it is very hot, then add the oil. When the oil is very hot, put the lamb in and turn the chunks over with a wooden spoon to coat the meat in oil. Cover with a lid, turn the heat right down to very low and leave it to just simmer for 45 minutes. Keep checking the pot to make sure the meat isn’t getting scorched on the bottom. I massively burnt the meat the first time I made this so keep a close eye on it! Lewis says about this: “It’s a tricky recipe and needs attention. The first 2 hours are done on a low low low heat. The lamb literally steams in the gravy, no sizzling whatsoever except right at the start when you sizzle it in a hot pan, but very briefly then turn the heat right down.” (This was a text response to me texting “I want to make the curry but am scared of burning it again!!”)

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After 45 minutes, add 150ml of the stock, bring to the boil, turn the heat right down, cover and leave to simmer. After another 45 minutes, repeat this with another 150ml of stock and cook for a further 45 minutes. Add the onion, ginger, chilli, garlic and allspice and stir gently. Add the rest of the ingredients and stock – bring to the boil.

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Turn the heat down again, cover and cook for another 2 hours, stirring from time to time. Keep an eye on it and add more stock if it seems dry. Once done it should be fragrant and glistening. Serve with rice and lots of water because it’s S P I C Y!

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